Vancouver city council voted March 14 to approve a $1.5 billion redevelopment of Oakridge Centre that would allow 14 towers that would range between nine and 44 storeys and more than 1.8 million square feet of retail space.
The six Vision Vancouver councillors voted as a block while NPA councillors George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball and Green councillor Adrienne Carr voted against.
Affleck told Business in Vancouver after the vote that his main concerns were that parkland slated for the plan would either never exist or remain on the roofs of buildings. Another concern was that the vote "defies the city's 2007 policy statement for Oakridge related to transit."
He mocked the legitimacy by which Vision councillors treated the public hearings given that a press release was disseminated within minutes of city council's mid-afternoon vote.
"They knew how everyone was going to vote did they? They must have written the release before they voted," he said.
The project is expected to provide more than 5,000 jobs, provide $228 million in community amenities and deliver both family and social housing in Vancouver's Cambie corridor.
"The new Oakridge Centre will support thousands of new jobs, build urgently needed new affordable housing and offer remarkable community benefits, including new childcare spaces, a new community centre and library, a new seniors' centre and significant new park space," said mayor Gregor Robertson in the release.
The approval caps a week of sometimes contentious public hearings where plenty of speakers were both in support and opposed to the project.
Consultation also included open houses attended by more than 2,300 residents, 505 online feedback questionnaires, and over 13,000 visits to consultation kiosks at Oakridge Centre